Most of us would love to make a little easy cash on the side, and survey companies can look pretty appealing. Making money online taking surveys is a real possibility.
But how can you be sure you’re dealing with a legitimate site or picking the best ones?
Though there are many shady sites you’ll want to avoid for one reason or another, there are also some that are straightforward and worth your time.
Don’t waste your time (or money) on sites that don’t really pay. For a few tips on choosing survey companies and to find out which ones are the best for making money online, read on.
Choosing Legitimate Survey Companies
There are a few things you should keep in mind when searching for online survey companies.
Remember that you’re doing this to make money, not spend it. Never join a site that asks you to pay for a membership or anything else.
If you find a survey site that repeatedly asks you a ton of qualification questions only to disqualify you in the end, it’s better to move on. While some sites use these questions as a way to gauge your true interest in answering surveys thoughtfully, some sites misuse them and waste your time.
If a site has an unreasonably high minimum cashout that can’t be reached with the scanty amount of surveys they’ve provided, steer clear.
It’s also wise to avoid sites that do not tell you how you’ll be paid.
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What’s the Purpose of Survey Companies?
Survey companies provide outside feedback to other businesses. This can help businesses adjust their strategy and improve their business model.
Online surveys are useful for:
- New companies with fresh products
- Established companies
- Consultants like Jeffrey Nelson that help business owners and professionals achieve their potential
- Starting up companies more easily using gathered consumer opinions
Online surveys provide input, opinions, and valid information for companies so they can deliver what customers actually want.
Swagbucks is one of the most popular and widely known reward sites.
Swagbucks is set apart from other survey companies because you can earn money on the internet in so many different ways.
When working with Swagbucks, you can:
- Receive cashback through their shopping portal
- Answer surveys
- Earn points for using Yahoo search to surf the internet
- Watch videos for points
- Play games to earn points
- Earn points for printing coupons and fulfilling offers
- Earn points for installing their toolbar and extensions
Swagbucks’ qualification questions are generally pretty brief. They’re meant to confirm you’re thoughtfully answering questions, not just flying through the survey. Even if you don’t qualify, it’s still possible for you to earn points.
By early summer in 2017, Swagbucks had already paid out $191.5 million. In addition to everything else, they give out around 7,000 gift cards daily.
The company that runs Swagbucks, Prodege LLC, has been around since 2005 and has an excellent rating with the Better Business Bureau.
MyPoints is Swagbucks’ sister company. They’re both owned by Prodege.
Initially operated as a cashback portal, MyPoints has been used for a couple of decades. When you shopped at stores through the MyPoints portal, you earned points that were then converted to gift cards.
Since being taken in by Prodege, what began as a cashback portal has become a great site with many ways to earn.
With MyPoints, you can earn points by:
- Watching videos
- Shopping at well-known retailers
- Playing games
- Reading emails and visiting partners
After making its name as one of the biggest cashback portals in the industry, MyPoints is now a legitimate way for you to earn money, discounts, and gift cards online.
InboxDollars is Swagbucks’ competitor, but signing up for both isn’t a problem. One of the advantages to using InboxDollars is that you earn cash, not points.
With Inbox dollars, you earn cash by:
- Online shopping
- Watching videos
- Completing surveys
- Fulfilling offers
- Clicking on email links in emails
The site lets you know how much you can earn for each task. You’re then paid that amount.
The site doesn’t pay a lot, but they let you know what you’ll earn beforehand so you can decide if you want to spend your time on it or not.
The company that runs InboxDollars, CotterWeb Enterprises, has been around since 2012 and has a Better Business Bureau rating of A+.
#4. Opinion Outpost
Opinion Outpost is a market research company run by Survey Sampling International. They have been around since 2002 and have a great Better Business Bureau rating.
Opinion Outpost uses short online surveys to see if you’re a good fit for larger, more profitable studies.
If you’re considered viable for more profitable studies, you may participate in:
- Tests where products are sent to your home for you to try and provide feedback.
- Studies where you’re asked to be involved in an online forum, sharing your views and opinions with an online community for a given time period.
- Studies that track your activity online and allow you to give input on your experience afterward.
- 30-minute activities during which you share your opinions on issues or ideas that a brand may have.
- Studies where you’re asked to keep a diary of your daily activities over a specified length of time.
Opinion Outpost pays for their surveys using a points system. You redeem points earned for gift certificates or cash. Cash is paid through Paypal.
Additionally, you’re given entries into instant-win drawings every quarter. These drawings offer large cash prizes and even if you don’t qualify for a survey, you’ll still get the entry.
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#5. Ipsos i-Say
Founded in 1975, Ipsos is one of the largest and oldest global market research companies. With headquarters in Paris, France, a partner like Reuters, and more than a billion dollars in revenue, it’s clear that they’re a legitimate, successful company.
Ipsos’ i-Say site is a small branch of their company that offers rewards for online surveys. Points are earned for surveys that are completed.
A Legitimate Way to Earn Online
Online survey sites with a good reputation are legitimate ways to earn money and other benefits online. They don’t take a lot of time or effort and you’re rewarded in the end.